Last week, I showed my dress for the I [heart] Marcel Marlier series. Since then, requests to explain how I created the color blocked sleeves have been pouring in by the dozens*. So here is my Colorblocked Sleeves Tutorial.
Step 1. Take your sleeve pattern, and mark the seam allowance and hem allowances on your pattern.
Note: Do you work with a pattern in which seam allowances are not included? Add them to your pattern now (also at the underarm edges).
Step 2. Mark the middle on the underarm edges and on the center of your sleeve, in both cases excluding the seam and hem allowance.
Note: using a longer sleeve? You might want to change the position of the marks (e.g. higher up on the sleeve)
Step 3. Connect the marks you just made with a sloping line.
Step 4. Write “Seam allowance!” along both sides of the sloping line, so that you do not forget to add SA in step 5. Cut your sleeve pattern in two along the sloping line.
Step 5. Put your pattern pieces on two double folded pieces of fabric (so that you have a mirrored pair of each). Cut out, adding seam allowance along both sides of the sloping line.
Note: How much seam allowance you add depends on how you decide to finish off the sleeve in step 6. For option A, add 0,7 cm (1/4″); for option B, add 1,2 cm (3/8″).
You should end up with something like this:
Step 6. Now we just have to assemble the sleeves. Two options here:
Option A: Fast and easy. Serge or zigzag the sloping edge of both pieces. Stitch them together with right sides together, using a 0,7 cm (1/4″) allowance. Press seams open.
Option B: Nice and neat. For a cleaner finish, you can use a French seam. The outside of the sleeve will look exactly the same as in option B, but the inside (which is sometimes exposed when you lift your arm) will look much cleaner. The steps below expain how to do this.
*Yeah I totally made that up.